Funding cuts to halve apprenticeships in Wales, warns NTfW

The National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) which represents more than 100 firms providing work-based learning, has warned that employers are likely to cut the number of apprentices they hire by almost half after ministers cut the budget by £7m.

The body said the 8,857 fewer apprenticeships will be on offer by the end of 2015, a drop of 49%.

NTfW’s operations manager Jeff Protheroe said: “When you see the figures in black and white the only word to describe them is stark – 9,000 less apprentices than last year.Our members have been left scratching their heads because there was no slack in the apprenticeship programme to cut. It appears the government has received some bad advice. There is a feeling that the Welsh government is taking learning providers for granted because it knows that the network has consistently delivered excellent results and responded to the needs of the Welsh government over the past decade.”

“The irony of the situation is that the budget cuts coincide with a national media campaign by the Welsh government promoting apprenticeships. Having created the demand for apprenticeships, the Welsh government is now unable to fulfil it.”